'Sound postcards' is a calming and thoughtful outdoor activity suitable for young children of all abilities. The aim of sound postcards is to focus the mind and listen out for sounds around the area. This allows children to better understand nature, the environment, and to express their ability to sit and listen.
Show the group how to pull an imaginary veil over their heads. This is a veil of silence and when they are wearing it, they must not speak or make a sound. Show them how to direct their listening by cupping their hands around their ears, either forwards, backwards or to the side to amplify the sound coming from that direction.
Listen for 3 minutes then discuss the sounds they heard and what they may look like if they were to draw them as symbols or pictures.
Each person needs a plain postcard or piece of card and a pencil. Draw a cross in the centre of the card, and this cross will represent them. They will then find a spot to sit by themselves and using the postcard, map out the sounds around them. They should try to identify where the sounds could come from, using their own made up symbols.
After 10 minutes, bring the group back together to share the sounds they have heard. How did everyone interpret and represent the same sounds.
- What was the quietest sound?
- What was the loudest sound?
- What was the longest sound?
Think about who you might want to send the postcard to and write a message to them about the sounds you have heard.
To make sure that the group know the boundaries of where they can go. Make the group aware that if the leader whistles or says a word or phrase like ‘Back to BASE!’ they know to come back.